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UPDATE: Teacher charged with drugged driving; sister speaks out

(WSAZ)
Published: Apr. 11, 2017 at 11:09 AM EDT
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UPDATE 4/12/17 @ 10:15 p.m.

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- An elementary school teacher is out of jail and her family says she is seeking treatment.

Amanda Freeman, a teacher at Kanawha City Elementary School, was pulled over Monday night for allegedly driving under the influence of drugs.

St. Albans police say, at the time of the arrest, Freeman was driving with a revoked license from another DUI three weeks ago.

But Freeman's sister, Kristyn Taylor, says the person behind the wheel Monday is "not the real Amanda."

"We were just as shocked as everybody," Taylor said. "She's a fantastic teacher ... always trying to make her community better."

Taylor says Freeman has struggled since the death the their 33-year-old middle sister, Jessica, last fall.

"When we lost my sister so suddenly," Taylor said. "Things just really spiraled down from there."

Taylor says, while Freeman has made mistakes, she's hoping to earn the community's trust back. Taylor says her sister has entered a treatment facility.

"She's [already] doing better," Taylor said. "She knows that this is the best thing."

As for her place with Kanawha County Schools, a spokesperson says the board will not make a decision until a future meeting.


ORIGINAL STORY 4/11/17 @ 7 p.m.

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A West Virginia school teacher is facing charges after police say she was driving while under the influence of drugs.

Amanda Freeman, 37, of Marmet, was arrested Monday night in St. Albans, after a traffic stop.

Police tell us she is currently a school teacher, and Kanawha County Schools confirms she teaches 2nd grade at Kanawha City Elementary.

According to St. Albans Police, Freeman was swerving all over MacCorkle Avenue and in the nearby area and even crossed the center line.

Police also say her car was "braking erratically for several blocks" and that she was bouncing around and leaning into the passenger side of the car.

The responding officer says once she was pulled over, he could see that her eyes were red and watery and that she could not sit still.

Police say Freeman could not perform the walk and turn test, because she was nervous and could not stand still.

"It's always a concern when you have someone that's in a position of trust who is using drugs and working with children," says Sgt. Dan Wyatt with St. Albans Police. "We entrust the safety of our children to the teachers and staff at schools."

Metro 911 dispatchers say Freeman was driving on a revoked license for DUI, stemming from an incident in March of this year, according to the criminal complaint.

She was charged Tuesday morning with DUI of a controlled substance and driving while license revoked for DUI.

"The severe drug epidemic that we have in this area knows no boundaries when it comes to what profession you work, what neighborhood you live in, what kind of car you drive, what kind of job you have," Wyatt said.

Freeman is currently in South Central Regional Jail on a $5,000 bond.

Kanawha County Schools tell WSAZ they are unable to comment on personnel matters.